Beyond the beach: one naturalist’s 35-year-career at Sandbanks

Today’s post comes from Yvette Bree. Yvette has been the park naturalist at Sandbanks Provincial Park for 35 years and retires at the end of August this year.

1986. A year forever etched in my memory.

The year I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (B.E.S.) with a Resource Management option.

The year I was married to my high school boyfriend (still going strong).

And the year I got my first job with Ontario Parks.

Continue reading Beyond the beach: one naturalist’s 35-year-career at Sandbanks

What it’s like to work the front gate at a provincial park

Our front gate staff are frontline heroes of park operations.

(If you’ve ever checked in at a bustling park on a busy Friday afternoon, you know exactly what we’re talking about!)

Gate staff work extremely hard to get you into the park as quickly as possible, all while balancing many priorities in a hectic environment.

Here are five things they’d like you to know about working in the gatehouse:

Continue reading What it’s like to work the front gate at a provincial park

Are you offering Discovery programs this summer?

Yes, we are!

The Ontario Parks Discovery team is hard at work coming up with creative ways to connect visitors with the special stories and values protected in our parks.

If you visit any of the parks offering Discovery programming, you may connect with Discovery staff along a trail, as they rove through the campground, at a drop-in program, in a Visitor Centre, or at a scheduled program.

Continue reading Are you offering Discovery programs this summer?

Happy World Ranger Day!

Ontario Parks staff tackle a huge array of tasks and challenges.

Our days are diverse. You might find us researching rare species, applying First Aid to injured guests, maintaining safe and healthy water systems, building a boardwalk, or welcoming families to a busy campground.

We’re stewards of our province’s most treasured natural resources. We’re educators, instilling a love of nature in new generations of Ontarians.

Internationally, World Ranger Day celebrates their wonderful work protecting our parks, and commemorates park rangers killed or injured in the line of duty in park organizations with high-risk activities.

We’re proud to keep our parks safe and welcoming to visitors, while protecting our amazing natural world.

Continue reading Happy World Ranger Day!

Life lessons working with Bobolinks

Today’s post comes from Victoria Reimer, Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s Green Jobs summer student and friend to birds everywhere.

If you asked me what a Green Jobs student was before I started, I wouldn’t have known myself.

Now, after being in the role, I can tell you it’s a wonderful opportunity to become intimately connected to your park. Every day, my job challenges me, but it also gives me so many opportunities to learn.

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Worst of the worst: a naturalist’s list of the most harmful types of litter

Today Yvette Bree, a Discovery Leader at Sandbanks Provincial Park for over 30 years, shares some thoughts about this season. 

2020 will go down as — to put it mildly — a difficult year for many people.

Although affected by the world around me, I choose to acknowledge that I am pretty lucky: I live in a great country, a great province, and have enjoyed a career in a stunningly beautiful park.

Continue reading Worst of the worst: a naturalist’s list of the most harmful types of litter

5 ways to help our staff this year

The past few months have been full of twists and turns.

Our staff are working hard to ensure our visitors are having a safe and enjoyable time at Ontario Parks.

Here are a few ways you can do your part to maintain a smooth experience at our parks for all:

Continue reading 5 ways to help our staff this year

7 things to remember when arriving at the park gatehouse for day use

In today’s post comes from Discovery Leader Matt Cunliffe at MacGregor Point Provincial Park

When the big day comes, if you’re like me, all you want to do is get to your site: tent set, chairs out, feet up.

I’ve worked for Ontario Parks since 2006, and last year had the opportunity to run a gate house.

This gave me an increased respect for the amazing work our gate staff perform and valuable perspective on just how busy the park can be during check-in time for a long weekend…or any weekend for that matter.

And after a season of answering questions and helping campers, here are a few considerations for this year:

Continue reading 7 things to remember when arriving at the park gatehouse for day use